Doubts Cast Over Cell Phone Radiation Risk To Unborn Babies

A recent study, which found evidence that mobile phones could harm unborn babies and make them prone to behavioural problems, may have been over-hyped.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, exposed 33 pregnant mice to cell phone radiation, from a mobile phone set to permanent call, for 17 days – almost the full gestation period of mice.

Scientists compared behaviour and brain activity of mice babies born under radiation exposure to those who weren’t and found that the former showed evidence of hyperactivity, anxiety and poor memory.

Hugh Taylor, from Yale University, who was one of the researchers in the experiment, was quoted in several news articles saying that mobile phones might be “partly responsible for rising rates of behavioural disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder”.

However, according to the New Scientist, “pregnant women are incredibly unlikely to be exposed to the high dose of radiation that would be equivalent to what was given to the mice in the experiment.”

Researchers not associated with the study feel that “much more care” needs to be shown before forming conclusions on humans based on mice results.

Eric Taylor, a child psychiatrist from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London said that the radiation dose in the experiment was quite large.

Furthermore he also said that “researchers’ tests of animal memory should not be directly equated to human attention [because] different species can react differently.”

The Institute of Psychiatry’s Katya Rubia, too said that the link made between mice and humans is “alarmist and unjustified”.Bewstrack India